Spicing Up Broward

The restaurant business has taken a hard hit, with the recession claiming newcomers as well as veteran venues, so hopes are high this fall for Dine Out Lauderdale. Restaurateurs are counting on customers to take advantage of the $35 prix-fixe, three-course meals at some of Broward’s priciest dining spots. In its third year, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau program runs Thursday through Nov. 12 and features 37 restaurants from Pompano Beach to Hollywood.

Dine Out Lauderdale, Broward’s answer to Miami Spice, brings back popular participants such as China Grill, Ireland’s Steakhouse, Cero, Mai-Kai, 3030 Ocean and Chima. More haute hot spots that have jumped on the Dine Out bandwagon this year, including Johnny V, The Capital Grille, Bin 595 and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.You can also get a taste of Fort Lauderdale newcomers Truluck’s, da Campo Osteria, Bova Prime, E Spot Restaurant & Bar and the downtown branch of Morton’s The Steakhouse.

Despite the program’s name, it covers much of Broward County – a few highlights…

  • Café Maxx (Pompano Beach) presents a generous four-course menu, with entrée choices of petite three-peppercorn filet mignon, double lamb chops, sweet onion-crusted snapper, jumbo shrimp scampi or breast of chicken Milanese
  • Le Bistro (Lighthouse Point) offers four courses plus a finale of “ever-changing cheeses” served with a shot of port
  • Mai-Kai throws in its Polynesian Islander Revue Sunday and Tuesday-Friday along with its three-course Cantonese-American meal
  • If you’re looking for a view, consider China Grill, Grille 66, Charley’s Crab or 15th Street Fisheries on the Intracoastal or oceanfront Cero, Ilios and Trina
  • Vegan Sublime with its “caviar,” piccata and chocolate Nirvana

A few pointers…

  • Don’t ask for special preparations or substitutions
  • If service is good, tip extra, as if you’re paying full price
  • Keep in mind that some restaurants are not offering a Dine Out menu during Boat Show Week (Oct 29-Nov 2)

To find the best deals, study the menus on the program’s website. Be sure to read the fine print, as deals vary. Some restaurants make daily or weekly menu changes, so it’s worth calling to check.